Tony Owen uses laser cut origami screens to blend the inside and landscape in these courtyard apartments.

Astor is a 4 storey apartment complex is located in the North Sydney suburb of Crows Nest. The design contains 50 units. The surrounding area is an exclusive leafy suburb thus the design had to achieve the highest standard of finish and quality. The site is located on a busy main road and is overlooked on all sides, so we designed the ‘U shaped’ scheme to face into a quiet central landscaped courtyard which is oriented north for sun. All of the units are accessed from this courtyard via outdoor screened walkways. Thus the design blends landscaped areas with the internal apartment spaces.

The 4-storey design incorporates a vertical expression and breaks down the massing into 2 storey portions; as such it reflects the terrace house character of the area. We have used a limited pallete of off-form concrete and bronze metal panels. This gives a refined, natural, organic and contemporary impression to the building and merges with the surrounding landscaped environment.

We have created specially designed origami metal screens. These screens are made from laser-cut folded aluminium. They provide solar shading and privacy from the adjoining properties. They also screen the walkways which are bathed in a soft dapple light. The aluminium paling balustrades are also folded. This creates a distinctive and unique design. Stone and timber batten fences are included to add to the earthy warmth.



Project Name: Astor Apartments, Crows Nest

Architecture Firm: Tony Owen Partners


Contact Email: [email protected]

Completion Year: 2018

Built Area – 5000m2

Location: Crows Nest, Sydney, Australia

Photographer: John Gollings

_Tony Owen, Marianna Miodszuiski, Chong Lo